What would happen if the atmosphere was pure oxygen

Oxygen toxicity

what would happen if the atmosphere was pure oxygen

What If Oxygen Doubled in Earth’s Atmosphere?

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Oxygen toxicity is a condition resulting from the harmful effects of breathing molecular oxygen O 2 at increased partial pressures. Severe cases can result in cell damage and death, with effects most often seen in the central nervous system, lungs , and eyes. Historically, the central nervous system condition was called the Paul Bert effect , and the pulmonary condition the Lorrain Smith effect , after the researchers who pioneered the discoveries and descriptions in the late 19th century. Oxygen toxicity is a concern for underwater divers , those on high concentrations of supplemental oxygen particularly premature babies , and those undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The result of breathing increased partial pressures of oxygen is hyperoxia , an excess of oxygen in body tissues. The body is affected in different ways depending on the type of exposure. Central nervous system toxicity is caused by short exposure to high partial pressures of oxygen at greater than atmospheric pressure.

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We need oxygen to live, yet there's always too much of a good thing. Pure oxygen can be deadly. By Luis Villazon.

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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. By volume, dry air contains If the total pressure is twice as high as on earth, the partial pressure is the same as on earth, and since the other gases are inert either nitrogen like here on earth, or noble gases , they should not make too much trouble on their own. However, with the exception of helium, they have narcotic effects, therefore the nitrogen, argon and xenon atmospheres would also not be the best to live in, although temporary visits should be less of a problem thanks to Rob Watts for making me aware of this problem. Moreover, there should also be some CO2 for respiration to work.

What would happen if our atmosphere consisted of pure oxygen?

Please note: we are not currently updating this site with new content, but please continue to explore our resources. Then your ear drums would rupture. And since gases escape from liquids much more easily at lower pressures, the liquids in your body would start to boil. Imagine experiencing the saliva on your tongue coming to the boil. All of which are reasons why astronauts wear spacesuits whenever they venture outside their spacecraft. In addition, in the hours before a space walk, astronauts breathe pure oxygen to reduce the amount of nitrogen in their blood.

We breathe air that is 21 percent oxygen , and we require oxygen to live. So you might think that breathing percent oxygen would be good for us -- but actually it can be harmful. So, the short answer is, pure oxygen is generally bad, and sometimes toxic. To understand why, you need to go into some detail …. Your lungs are basically a long series of tubes that branch out from your nose and mouth from trachea to bronchi to bronchioles and end in little thin-walled air sacs called alveoli.

Imagine striking a match and having everything around you catch on fire, even if you were standing in a wet forest. These are just a few of the things that would happen if you lived in a world where the atmosphere is pure oxygen.
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Password: Log In. Lost your password? Laura Soul answered on 14 Mar Well, oxygen itself isnt flammable, but it is what means that everything else can burn. So if the whole atmosphere was oxygen then things would be really easy to set fire to and then everything else flammable would set fire around them too. When the Americans sent the first people into space when they were practising to go to the moon they actually filled the capsule that they were testing on earth with pure oxygen, there was a tiny electrical spark and the whole of the inside of the capsule burned really quickly, it was a very tragic accident.


  1. Esmeraude A. says:

    Earth's atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% argon, with trace Life would not be the same if the atmosphere was % oxygen.

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